RCB captain Faf du Plessis speaks about his Kolpak journey at the RCB Podcast

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Did you know that Faf du Plessis and AB de Villiers played for South Africa’s Under 19 team at the same time? Yes, Faf and AB were a part of the South African Team way back in 2003. However, AB was selected for the national team in 2004 whereas Faf had to wait till 2011 to make his debut.

Faf was doing well in domestic cricket but was not being called to the national team despite that. Thus, Faf signed a Kolpak deal. Recently, speaking at RCB’s Podcast, Faf revealed how he got the contracts, and how it ended.

What is a Kolpak deal?

A Kolpak deal is an agreement between a cricket player from another country and a county cricket club in England. The agreement allows the player to be treated as a local player, rather than an overseas player, and therefore not take up one of the club’s limited number of overseas player spots.

The Kolpak ruling was named after the Slovakian handball player Maros Kolpak, who won a landmark case in the European Court of Justice in 2003. The ruling allowed citizens of countries that have signed European Union (EU) association agreements to work in other EU countries without being considered foreign workers.

In cricket, the Kolpak deal is typically offered to players from countries such as South Africa, Zimbabwe, and the Caribbean, who are not eligible to play for England but still want to play professional cricket in the country. The deal usually lasts for a specific number of years, during which time the player is considered a local player and not subject to the restrictions placed on overseas players.

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